Recap: The Simpsons S 2 E 19 Lisas Substitute

Episode - 7F19
First Aired - 4/25/1991

After Ms. Hoover announces that she's on medical leave for Lyme diseasenote , Lisa finds a kindred spirit in her substitute teacher, Mr. Bergstrom, but when he leaves and Ms. Hoover returns, Lisa is crushed and angry that Homer doesn't care. Meanwhile, Bart runs for class president.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: To the famous moment from The Graduate, which is kind of odd since Dustin Hoffman was credited under the name "Sam Etic" rather than his actual name.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Mrs. Krabappel, you're trying to seduce me.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Mr. Bergstrom is Jewish, but his surname is Swedish as opposed to Yiddish. It's very possible his father is Swedish and his mother was Jewish.
  • Bumbling Dad: Homer, of course.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Lisa, your homework is always so neat. How can I put this? Does your father help you with it?
    Lisa: No. Homework's not my father's specialty.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Well there's no shame in it, I mean, my dad—
    Lisa: Not mine.
    Mr. Bergstrom: You didn't let me finish—
    Lisa: Unless the next word was "burped", you didn't have to.
  • Calling the Old Man Out / Enraged By Idiocy / "Reason You Suck" Speech / You Monster!: Lisa drops a major eye-opener on Homer when it seems like he doesn't care about Mr. Bergstrom leaving or why she's sad about it, one that shocks even Bart simply because no one expected her to say it:
    Lisa: I didn't think you'd understand...
    Homer: Hey! Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.
    Lisa: (Stands up angrily) I'm glad I'm not crying, because I would hate for you to think what I'm about to say is based on emotion, (points angrily at a startled Homer) but YOU sir...are a BABOON!
    Homer: (gasp) Me?
    Lisa: YES YOU, BABOON! BABOON, BABOON, BABOON!
    Homer: (stricken) I don't think you realize what you're saying...
    Lisa: BABOON!!! (Runs off crying)
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Bergstrom
  • Crowd Chant: "More Asbestos! More Asbestos! More Asbestos!"
  • Decided By One Vote: Two, actually. Bart and his would-be voters were so sure of Bart's impending victory they didn't bother to vote. Martin won 2 - 0.
  • Dewey Defeats Truman: Parodied after Martin wins.
  • Dynamic Entry: Mr. Bergstrom shows up in cowboy attire and fires off fake gunshots into the air, scaring the wits out of Vietnam veteran Skinner. These days, doing something like that wouldn't be tolerated, even if the guns were fake.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Mr. Bergstrom says this when he sees Homer wallowing in self-pity.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Mr. Simpson, you have got to be a bigger man.
    • Marge makes Homer well understand the context of why Lisa snapped at him and called him a baboon rather than let him complain about being called one.
      Marge: Homer, you're not allowed to have her feelings right now! There's a little girl upstairs that needs you! Her confidence in her father is shaken, and no little girl can be happy unless she has faith in her daddy!
  • Landslide Election: Martin wins with two votes, the amount of people who bothered to vote anyway.
  • Precocious Crush: Lisa to Mr. Bergstrom.
  • Special Guest: Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Bergstrom (credited as Sam Etic)
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Subverted, as Mr. Bergstrom reads some of the actual text of Charlotte's Web . The commentary notes that they used the absolute maximum they could get away with before having to pay for it.